Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 24, 2011

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Adam, Valla, Binyamin

I had a conflict on Wednesday, so we switched to Tuesday. Adam can't come on Wednesdays, so he came, bringing his gf Valla.


Jon 39, Adam 29, Valla 5

First play for Valla, second for Adam. It was perhaps not the easiest of all sets for new players, but there you go.

Kingdoms: Remodel, Council Room, Secret Chamber, Swindler, Minion, Trading Post, Tribute, Navigator, Loan, City

Lots of trashing. Lots of remodeling coppers into Secret Chambers. A few curses gained, but these were also remodeled. Valla had decent cards, but she didn't use them to gain points until very late.

Adam bought two early five cost cards before either of us (Tributes), and also bought the first Province, forgoing his first jump to 8 for a gold. I took City and Council Room, then Tributes. Eventually I had two turns of 16+ with two buys = 2 Provinces. The first one put me ahead of Adam; the second one was pretty much game.

On the last turn, Valla finally got a turn like mine, chaining City's and card drawing. Unfortunately, she played a Swindler. Adam turned over a Province, and he then took the last Province. Valla could only buy a Duchy.


Binaymin 72, Gili 64, Nadine 56

Fist play for Nadine and Gili. It took an awfully long time to explain the game, some 45 minutes. They were still going after we had finished both a slow game of Dominion and Settlers of Catan.

Settlers of Catan

Valla 10, Adam 7, Jon 7

First play for Valla, and as usual, the new player won. She started off with a strong road that cut the island in two; her Road Building card didn't hurt there. No one else was going to steal Longest Road from her (at least, not easily).

Adam mistakenly places his initial settlements on essentially two resources - wood and wheat - and a 2 ore spot. 2 rolled up a number of times, however, and he reaped his ore.


Binyamin 56, Nadine 41, Jon 34

We play without the curses. Not much to say about the game.

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 18, 2011

Participants: Jon, David K, Nadine, Zachary, Eliezer

I lost my notes, again. I picked up David and brought him home with me. While waiting for others to show up, David created a pile of Magic card for us to draft from later in the evening.

Glory to Rome

Nadine 15, Eliezer 15, David 10, Zachary 9, Jon 9

First game for Zachary, second game for David and Eliezer. I started with a simple brown building and then began a Catacombs, on the theory that a partially built Catacombs would give me the flexibility to end the game when I wanted and protect me from Forums. It didn't work for me, and I didn't complete any other building by the end of the game (which ended with David's Catacombs). I lost out on the utility that other buildings could have supplied in the meantime.

I'm not sure that the strategy was entirely bad; I may have been unlucky. By the way, my other six points came from a single stashed purple card and the bonus for most purple cards.

Nadine built an early killer combo: two brown clients, the building that doubles her client abilities, and the building that increases her hand size to 9. Each round she drew back up to 9 cards, and on each brown action she started AND completed two or three buildings.

All her points were in buildings.

Eliezer built the second most amount of buildings, and also had six points from a stashed blue card and the blue bonus. David was almost as far behind as I was, and he completed Catacombs to put us out of our misery.


Eliezer, Zachary, Nadine

Zach didn't have much more time, so Eliezer taught Nadine and him a round of this game. Meanwhile, David and I drafted our Magic decks.

Year of the Dragon

Nadine 100something, David around 20 points behind, Eliezer, Jon

First play for Eliezer. I went in to this game not a fan of the game, and I ended even less of a fan; I'll be dropping it a point on my ranking. It's not that I don't see that there is strategy to work out, which David and Nadine have worked out better than I have. It's that the entire thing bores me. I don't really know why. It's just not compelling. Notre Dame, to which this game has been compared but is a less punishing game, doesn't bother me as much, and compels me slightly more (slightly).

David took a commanding early lead on the turn order track and stayed there the entire game, though I cam close enough to worry him occasionally. He took strong books, earning 9 points a pop during the last few rounds. However, he eventually lost all of his guys on the last round. Nadine built out to four or five huts, took a first round double dragon, and an early princess. She kept six guys and nine buddha points.

I managed to keep eight guys in four huts and a fourth round single dragon and a sixth round princess. No buddhas.

Magic: The Gathering

Jon++, David+

This was the second time in a row that I've beaten David. He won the first game handily and I was sure that my deck wasn't going to do much, even though it didn't look too bad: black with splashes of red and white, 15 creatures, creature kill cards, and the flagbearer enchantment. The latter is a pretty unassuming card that worked wonders when I brought it out, just like it did the last time I played with it. The enchantment redirects any targeted spell or ability cast by the opponent onto the enchanted creature.

I won the second game with some selective creature kill, followed by a standoff and a Last Ditch Effort, and the third after a long battle, followed by sacrificing some Clerics (shapeshifters, actually) each netting 2 loss of life to him and 2 gain for me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 11, 2011

Participants: Jon, Gili, Eliezer, Nadine, Yaakov

Eliezer joins us from the Beit Shemesh game club; I had played with him on Tuesday night. Yaakov has played some games before, such as Magic and Settlers. He was a fine young gentleman, and I ope he comes again.

I was distracted during the first part of the evening with some phone calls and other issues.


Gili 30, Nadine 10, Yaakov 7

Nadine taught this to Yaakov while I was indisposed. It's interesting how wildly the scoring values in this game vary from play to play. In some games, a high score is below 10 and some of the players have negative values.

Carson City

Jon 38, Nadine 35, Yaakov 35, Gili 33, Eliezer 29

First plays for Yaakov and Eliezer. We play with the yellow roles, except for one of them. Also, the "gunslinger" role and the "gun chip" space provide only 2 guns as far as combat is concerned, but count as 3 guns for the reward spaces. We also still play with dice combat, which I hate; we'll try the other methods next time.

I'm happy to see that all the ending scores were relatively close together, though it looked like Nadine was fairly running away with the game. She drops a lot of points and cash early on, and then takes the sheriff and places it on the 5:1 scoring in round 4, hoping that she can simply keep her initial lead. On her last turn she simply placed 7 guys on the "take 4 coins" space.

Eliezer was almost at zero points going into the fourth round, so kudos for him for making it to 29 points.

I was pretty sure that Nadine was going to keep her lead at the end, though I knew that some of us would catch up. In the end, she was still ahead after we all traded in our cash, but she finally lost after the occupied board spaces were tallied. She only had 3 occupied board spaces, while we all had 5 to 7.

I started off losing a whole lot of combats, but I also won a few; it only felt like I lost more than I should have. I like the mechanism of giving you your guy back if you lose, which is a relatively decent compensation.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

May 04, 2011

Participants: Jon, Zachary, Jessica, Gili, Aryeh, Binyamin, Nadine

Aryeh is a first-timer to the club. He has a little game experience.

Heroes of Graxia

Jessica 26, Zachary 21, Gili 21

I started this game but then left as it started to play with Aryeh. This was our first game actually finished, with most of the rules played correctly. However, we made the big mistake (at least until halfway through) of not discarding our hands and drawing a new one (ala Dominion). We were playing that you had to spend actions to draw cards. Of course, this changes the game dramatically.

I don't know what they did when they discovered this error. I know that Jessica had most of her legion decimated near the end of the game but still won the game.


Binyamin 55,600, Jon 51,400, Aryeh 48,400

First play for Aryeh, and somewhere in the single digits for Binyamin. Aryeh was, without a doubt, the slowest player in our group, ever (yes, even slower then you, David). It was kind of a mystery, since he was obviously bright. He hesitated, asked a question about something minute, hesitated, asked another question about some minute aspect of strategy, hesitated, and then hesitated more. It seemed was very hard for him to make a decision, even when he had only one good option, but especially when he had nothing particularly good to do and simply had to place some random tile. The game took nearly three hours, of which 2.5 hours at least was Aryeh. I was growing restless, and I knew that Binyamin was going nuts.

He began to speed up a little near the end, but only marginally. And yet, other than his slowness, he was a nice guy and could be fun to play with. I think the trick is to find the right games for his personality type.

In our game, I managed to avoid the problem I had last game of only buying edge properties which took a long time to merge. I had spending cash all game. Binyamin and Aryeh were low on cash at least once each. But I still didn't win, mostly because I had fewer shares of the two big chains at the end. I made more money initially, but Binyamin managed a few quick foundings and mergers at the end.

Louis XIV

Jessica 48, Gili 43, Nadine 41, Zachary 32

Gili suggested this, I think. First plays for Jessica and Zachary. It took a long time, too, I think.


Jessica, Gili, Nadine, Zachary

Played as a filler.

Mr. Jack

Binyamin+ (Detective), Jon (Criminal)

Binyamin caught Mr Jack on round 6, after a tipoff from the red guy. Also played as a filler.


Jon 63, Nadine 49, Jessica 6, Binyamin 0

I taught this to Binyamin and Jessica. I've figure out now to teach it starting backwards, from the score to the points, and then from the bid to the score. And then to the play. The reasons and strategy for bidding are still a complete mystery for the first 10 or 20 hands you play. But they began to warm up to it by the end of the two hands we played.